Tag Archives: George Santos

It’s a Trump Sweep in Nevada; Williamson Ends Her Campaign;
Close Special Election Poll in NY-3;
WA-5’s McMorris Rodgers to Retire

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 9, 2024

President

Former President Donald Trump sweeps in Nevada.

Nevada Caucus: A Trump Sweep — Former President Donald Trump, as expected, won almost unanimous support last night at the Nevada Republican Caucuses where the state’s 26 delegates are apportioned. Trump will be awarded all of the state’s national convention delegates. Reports of high turnout around the state are numerous. A complete report will be forthcoming when the final results are formally released.

Marianne Williamson: Draws Campaign to a Close — After placing behind the “None of These Candidates” ballot line in the Nevada primary, Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson suspended her national campaign reducing the field to President Joe Biden and US Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). With the president recording a mean average of 93 percent in the last two primaries, it is already a foregone conclusion that Biden will clinch the Democratic nomination no matter how long Phillips remains an active candidate.

House

NY-3: Another Close Special Election Poll — Siena College, conducting a congressional poll for the Newsday publication (Feb. 3-6; 694 likely NY-3 voters) finds a tight special election race to replace expelled US Rep. George Santos (R).

The ballot test gives former US Rep. Tom Suozzi (D) a 48-44 percent edge over Republican Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip. A second survey, from Emerson College (Feb. 4-5; 742 likely NY-3 voters; multiple sampling techniques), reported a similar result: Suozzi leading 52-48 percent when respondents were pushed for a choice between the two candidates. Previously, Emerson conducted a survey in mid-January (Jan. 13-15; 975 registered NY-3 voters; multiple sampling techniques) again finding Suozzi holding a similarly small 45-42 percent edge.

All of this data suggests that the Feb. 13 special election contest is within the polling margin of error and will come down to a turnout battle between the Democratic and Republican teams. The survey research suggests the race is close enough that the side doing a better job getting their voters to cast a ballot will claim the seat in the special election.

WA-5: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) to Retire — Another House member has joined the retirement list. Ten-term Washington US Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane), the House Energy & Commerce Committee chair, announced yesterday that she will not seek re-election later this year. In a long statement that thanks and extolls the virtues of her eastern Washington constituents, McMorris Rodgers formally announced her political intentions.

The open seat count now returns to 47, accounting for Rep. McMorris Rodgers retiring and Indiana Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Noblesville) changing her mind about not seeking re-election. Within the group, 24 Democrats are not seeking another term in the House, and the Republican number now grows to 22. The new Alabama redistricting plan creates an open seat that begins in Montgomery and stretches to Mobile.

The 5th District of Washington occupies the furthermost eastern part of the state from Canada to Oregon and is anchored in the city of Spokane. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates WA-5 as R+17. In the 2020 election, former President Donald Trump won the district by a 53-43 percent margin. The Daily Kos Elections site statisticians rank the district as the 56th most vulnerable seat in the Republican Conference. We can expect a crowded jungle primary in August leading to a general election where the Republican candidate should be favored.

Is RFK Jr. Going Libertarian? Conflicting Presidential Polling; Trone Expands Lead in Maryland; Special Election Ad Spending in NY

By Jim Ellis — Friday, Feb. 2, 2024

President

Will Robert F. Kennedy Jr., currently running as an Independent general election candidate, switch to the Libertarian Party?

RFK Jr.: Flirting with Libertarian Party — Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I) and Libertarian Party leaders confirm they are discussing the possibility of Kennedy becoming the party’s presidential nominee. They are likely still a long way from coming to an agreement, though, mostly because some of Kennedy’s major issue positions such as climate change and gun control do not align with the party leadership; the move, however, makes practical sense for both entities.

First, being the Libertarian Party nominee would give Kennedy ballot access in all 50 states, something that is difficult for any Independent to obtain. The Libertarian Party was the only non-Democratic or Republican entity to achieve universal ballot status in 2020 (Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgensen appeared on the Libertarian line in 48 states and the District of Columbia; in Alabama and Tennessee, she appeared as an Independent), and they again would with Kennedy as their nominee.

Additionally, featuring RFK Jr. as their candidate, it is highly likely that the Libertarian Party would attract its highest historical number of votes. This is important for the organization’s future because many states base future party status upon performance in the national election.

Morning Consult/Bloomberg/Quinnipiac Polls: Any Given Poll — It’s a common saying in the NFL that “on any given Sunday any team can beat another.” A similar phrase appears applicable in political polling, as well. On almost any given day, we can find polls that disagree over outcome even though conducted during the same time period. Wednesday’s Morning Consult/Bloomberg News and Quinnipiac University are good examples.

The day began with Morning Consult/Bloomberg releasing their new regional survey series (Jan. 16-22; 4,596 registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; online; part of regular tracking), which finds former President Donald Trump leading in all of the key swing states with margins between three (Arizona, Pennsylvania) at 10 percentage points (North Carolina). Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin each posted five-point Trump margins, while Georgia and Nevada were closer to the North Carolina number at plus-eight. Turning to their national track, MC/Bloomberg posted Trump to a two-point advantage over President Joe Biden in the head-to-head ballot test.

Yet in the Quinnipiac University release, a poll that was in the field within a similar same time frame as MC/Bloomberg, though earlier in January (Jan. 4-8; 1,680 US registered voters; live interview), President Biden posted his biggest national popular vote lead of any recent poll, 50-44 percent. When the Independent and minor party candidates were added in, such as RFK Jr., for example, the Biden edge shrinks to just two percentage points, which is much more in line with other pollsters.

Senate

Maryland: Rep. Trone Expands Lead — A new internal Hickman Analytics poll for the David Trone for Senate campaign (Jan. 18-24; 1,500 likely Maryland Democratic primary voters; live interview) sees Trone, the 6th District Congressman, leading Prince Georges County Executive Angela Alsobrooks by a 45-34 percent margin in the open Democratic US Senate primary. The question, however, is for how long? The poll contained an over-sample of African Americans and females to emphasize the groups with which Rep. Trone is weakest.

Though the early numbers look good for the congressman, it must be understood that his campaign has spent well over $15 million to date, and $7 million alone just since November according to the Inside Elections publication. Trone began advertising a year before the primary election.

The Alsobrooks campaign has yet to run an ad. Since it is clear that she cannot match the congressman in an ad war with him self-financing the race from his huge personal wealth, the Alsobrooks strategists are waiting until late in the contest to unleash their own ad buys. She will be competitive as we get closer to the May 14th primary, so despite Trone’s polling and resource lead, this primary battle is far from over.

House

NY-3: Special Election Ad Spending Update — The Daily Kos Elections and AdImpact organizations charted the spending in the special congressional election to replace expelled Rep. George Santos (R-Long Island) as we approach the Feb. 13 election. According to their data, the overall Democratic operation is outspending the encompassing Republican effort by a large amount, $9.6 million to $5.7 million. The two candidates are former US Rep. Tom Suozzi for the Democrats, and Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip for the GOP.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, however, is coming in late to help even the score. They have reserved $2.6 million in television and digital ads to bring the final days spending into parity. In terms of spending booked for the final two weeks, the Democratic advantage narrows to $2.8 to $2.44 million.

Trump Sweeping Biden in Swing States; Malinowski Searches for NJ Senate Support; GOP Puts Forth Interesting NY-3 Candidate; NC-13 Rep. Wiley Nickel Out; Longtime Pol Jumps Into NJ Race

Former President Donald Trump up in polling.

By Jim Ellis, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023

President

Bloomberg/Morning Consult Polls: Trump Sweeping Biden in Swing States — Bloomberg News and Morning Consult partnered for a swing state polling series in the domains that will likely decide the 2024 presidential election: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Individual surveys were conducted in each state during the Nov. 27 through Dec. 6 period. Sample sizes ranged from 451 registered voters to 801 such individuals depending upon the state’s population size. All included Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the questionnaire along with Independent Cornel West and likely Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

Trump led in all seven polls both when the ballot test included the minor candidates and when he and President Joe Biden were isolated. Trump’s margins (with the minor party candidates) were: Arizona (+4), Georgia (+7), Michigan (+4), Nevada (+5), North Carolina (+9), Pennsylvania (+1), and Wisconsin (+6).

To win the election, Trump would need to hold North Carolina, and carry Georgia plus one or two of the other aforementioned states. Trump’s smallest configuration to yield a victory of 270 electoral votes — and this assumes he holds all the other states he won in 2020 — would include Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Senate

New Jersey: Ex-Rep. Malinowski Interviews for Party Senate Endorsements — Former US Rep. Tom Malinowski (D), who served two terms in the House before his re-election defeat in 2022 and who is now an unannounced US Senate candidate, conducted interviews with the Union County municipal Democratic Party chairmen seeking their endorsement for his potential statewide bid. Malinowski represented most of Union County in the US House. New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and US Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) already are in the primary race, challenging indicted Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez.

Malinowski would have to overcome long odds in order to win the party nomination, and it is no foregone conclusion that he will actually enter the race. Despite calls for his resignation, Menendez is not leaving the Senate, nor has he ruled out running for re-election. Polls, however, suggest he would badly lose the Democratic primary.

House

NY-3: Local Republicans Nominate Mazi Melesa Pilip — The Nassau and Queens County Republican Party chairmen have nominated Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip, an Ethiopian-born former member of the Israeli military, as their special election congressional nominee. She will oppose the Democratic nominee, former Congressman Tom Suozzi in the Feb. 13 special election to serve the balance of expelled Rep. George Santos’ (R) term.

Interestingly, Pilip is reportedly still a registered Democrat even though she is an elected Republican and will now be the GOP congressional nominee. She is an interesting choice that will likely draw more attention to what is likely to become a competitive special election.

NC-13: Rep. Wiley Nickel Won’t Seek Re-Election, Will Return in 2026 — In an admission that he would not be successful running for re-election in North Carolina’s newly configured 13th Congressional District, Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-Cary) announced late last week that he would end his career in the US House after one term. Rather, he will return to elective politics in 2026 and challenge Sen. Thom Tillis (R). In that year, Sen. Tillis, assuming he seeks re-election, will be on the ballot for a third term.

The new 13th District begins in the Dunn area south of Raleigh in Harnett County. The seat then moves northward around Raleigh on the east side of Wake County and stretches to the Virginia border. The 2022 state Supreme Court drew a 13th District that shared part of Wake County, annexing the city of Cary, and then moved south of the capital city to include Johnston County and parts of Hartnett and Wayne Counties.

The partisan lean for new Congressional District 13, according to the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians, is 56.6R – 41.2D. Under the map to which Rep. Nickel was elected, the 13th CD held a much different 49.5D – 48.1R partisan lean.

Also leaving the North Carolina congressional delegation are Reps. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) and Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte), who like Rep. Nickel face difficult re-election odds on the new Tar Heel State congressional map. Jackson is running for the open state attorney general’s position and will probably face his colleague in the adjoining congressional district, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte), in the statewide race.

Governor

New Jersey: Defeated State Senate President Launches ’25 Gov Campaign — Former New Jersey state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D), who served in the legislature for 20 years before his shocking upset defeat in the 2021 election, announced that he will enter the open 2025 gubernatorial campaign. Sweeney presided over the state Senate as its president for a 14-year period.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is ineligible to seek a third term and as in Virginia, where another odd-numbered gubernatorial position will be open, candidates are already announcing for their respective offices long before even the 2024 election transpires.

Announcing for the 2025 gubernatorial race before Sweeney was Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. Both US Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wycoff) and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) are reported to be testing the waters to also run for governor. For the Republicans, former state legislator Jack Ciattarelli — immediately after his close 2021 loss to Gov. Murphy — already announced that he would return for another gubernatorial bid in 2025.

Schiff Leads in Two Polls; Democrats Nominate Ex-Rep. Suozzi; Manning Won’t Seek Re-Election; Competitive North Carolina Governor’s Race

By Jim Ellis — Monday, Dec. 11, 2023

Senate

California Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)

California: Schiff Leads in Two Polls — A pair of mid-November polls were released of the California Senate race, and both find Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) leading the pack of open-seat candidates, but by a small margin. If these two polls prove accurate, both Schiff and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) would advance into a double-Democratic general election to be decided in November. Former baseball great Steve Garvey is a close third and still could be in position to claim second place in the March 5 all-party jungle primary if he could unite the Republican vote.

Emerson College (Nov. 11-14; 1,000 likely California primary voters; multiple sampling techniques) posts Schiff to a 16-13-10-9 percent advantage over Porter, Garvey, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), respectively. The University of California at Berkeley through the Public Policy Institute of California (Nov. 9-16; 1,113 likely California voters; online) conducted an extensive survey that included a ballot test question about the US Senate race. Their results, similar to those Emerson produced, projects Rep. Schiff leading the field by a larger 21-16-10-8 percent spread over Porter, Garvey, and Lee.

House

NY-3: Democrats Nominate Ex-Rep. Suozzi — Though the timing took a bit longer than expected, the Nassau County Democratic Party chairman announced late last week that former US Rep. Tom Suozzi will be the special election nominee to replace expelled Rep. George Santos (R). Republicans are expected to name their candidate early this week.

While the prevailing wisdom is that Suozzi is a lock to convert the seat for the Democrats, an Opinion Diagnostics survey suggests the race may be closer than one might expect. The survey, conducted for financial executive Kellen Curry’s (R) campaign (Nov. 30; 900 NY-3 registered voters; text & online) found Suozzi scoring only between 43.3 and 44.9 percent against three potential Republican special election nominees. The three Republicans record percentages between 38.0 and 39.9 percent, thus signaling a potentially competitive special election campaign. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) called the election for Feb. 13.

NC-6: Rep. Manning Won’t Seek Re-Election — Two-term North Carolina US Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) announced late last week that she will not file for re-election. Saying, “I would love nothing more than to continue representing our community in Congress. Unfortunately, the egregiously gerrymandered maps do not make this race competitive, and I cannot in good conscience ask people to invest their time, resources and efforts in a campaign that is rigged against us. However, if the impending lawsuits are successful and the general assembly is forced to draw fair congressional districts, I will seek to continue my service to our community.”

The new 6th District would have voted for former President Donald Trump in a 57-41 percent count. Under the Democratic court map, the 6th supported President Joe Biden with a 56-43 percent margin. North Carolina redistricting had gone back and forth for a decade between the Republican legislature and the Democratic state Supreme Court. With the Republicans winning the court races in 2022, the court and legislature now approach redistricting legislation from largely the same viewpoint.

Rep. Manning’s retirement means 36 seats are now open for the next election. A total of 22 of the open seats are currently Democratic held, 13 come from the Republican column, and one new seat has been created under the new Alabama court-drawn redistricting plan.

Governor

North Carolina: Lt. Gov. Robinson Still in Front — The open North Carolina governor’s post will feature one of the most competitive such campaigns in the nation. The likely party nominees are Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) and Attorney General Josh Stein (D). Early polling has given Robinson a slight lead, and the new East Carolina University survey (Nov. 29-Dec. 1; 915 North Carolina registered voters; multiple sampling techniques) draws a similar conclusion. The new numbers find Robinson posting a 44-40 percent general election lead over AG Stein.

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is ineligible to seek a third term. Robinson is completing his first term as lieutenant governor, while Stein will be serving his eighth year as attorney general. Stein’s most recent victory was a razor-thin 50.1 – 49.9 percent in 2020 and further suggests that he begins this gubernatorial race in an underdog position.